Farmers in Bumthang Revive Buckwheat Cultivation

Buckwheat cultivation in Bumthang has been on a declining trend over the last few decades. However, the district is now seeing a revival in the cultivation of the traditional crop. Thanks to an initiative by the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector and the National Biodiversity Centre which aims at diversifying and marketing buckwheat products.

 

Buckwheat cultivation in Bumthang has been on a declining trend over the last few decades. However, the district is now seeing a revival in the cultivation of the traditional crop. Thanks to an initiative by the Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector and the National Biodiversity Centre which aims at diversifying and marketing buckwheat products.

Jalikhar Village, a few kilometres away from Chamkhar town has the highest cultivated area of buckwheat crops in Chhoekhor Gewog. The fields are owned by a group of farmers who are actively engaged in the project. Other farmers who are not in the group have also started growing buckwheat on a wider scale. This is because of an improved marketing prospects for the crop.

“People were more involved in potato cultivation and that resulted in a shortage of buckwheat flour during rituals. So now, we are focusing more on buckwheat cultivation,” said a farmer named Nazom of Sanam Chithuen Rangzhin Tshogpa.

Sanam Chithuen Rangzhin Tshogpa was established in 2010 with the mandate to diversify crop cultivation. Since then, it has been making significant strides in reviving buckwheat crop in the district. Buckwheat is used for making cookies, puta (bumthap cuisine), and pancakes. Its husks are also used for making pillows which have become popular among tourists.

“We now think that we have achieved what the Agriculture Ministry and ourselves targeted for. For example, in the past, a drey of buckwheat used to get only Nu 15. Now, it costs Nu 50. We are happy we have been able to revive the crop cultivation,” said the Chairperson of Sanam Chithuen Rangzin Tshogpa, Sonam Tobgay.

Agriculture officials said crop diversification is crucial for farmers.

“If we are to develop a new variety of crops, we need the genes of the aboriginal variety as well. The other thing is that due to climate change, some of the crops don’t grow as it used to in the past,” said Gaylong, the Dzongkhag Agriculture Officer. “It’s important that we have varieties of crops in cultivation so that if one of the crops has lesser yield, the other can substitute it.”

Last year, Bumthang cultivated about 1000 acres of buckwheat which is the highest acreage of crop cultivation in the district. With more farmers involved in buckwheat cultivation now, the crop is set to become the most essential cereal for the farmers of Bumthang once again.

 

By Kipchu (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times).

This article first appeared on BBS.

 


Related Posts

Traditional Process of Dyeing Woollen Yarns at Risk of Dying Out

The traditional method of dyeing woollen yarns to weave Yathra in Bumthang is hardly practiced today. Yathra weaving is...

Oct 13, 2017 06:44

Palang Business Grows in Khengkhar

Palang is a wooden container traditionally used to store Ara, a locally brewed alcohol. Locals of Khengkhar in Monggar...

Oct 12, 2017 10:16

Fish Centre Needs More Trout Feed

Mr Singye Tshering said there is a high demand for fish in the country and it is important to promote the culture among...

Jan 20, 2018 09:23

Farmers in Samtse Ready To Reap Quinoa

Farmers in Samtse are gearing up to harvest quinoa, a new crop which they started cultivating on a small scale as a...

Jan 18, 2018 07:18

Year Round Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation in Bhutan

An entrepreneur in Bhutan invents solar and electric incubator for year round Shiitake mushroom cultivation.

Jan 12, 2018 13:33

​Bhutan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Economy in 2017

Lyonchhen said that if one went by The Economist ‘World in numbers’ figures, then Bhutan is predicted to be the fastest...

Jan 03, 2018 11:36

Latest

News

Bhutan Achieved 93% Youth Literacy Rate

93 percent of the students attend public schools, but the proportion of students attending public school decreases at higher education...

Jan 13, 2018 11:50

Japan Provides 353 More Power Tillers

The Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu handed over 353 sets of power tillers and accessories worth Nu 137 million to the...

Jan 11, 2018 14:18

Features

Green House Initiative Benefits Highlanders

“With the introduction of green houses in the region, it’s much more convenient and cost saving for us because we don’t have to purchase...

Jan 21, 2018 13:50

Accreditation Of Colleges in Bhutan

An institution is graded on six core elements such as the curriculum, research and innovation, institutional linkage, management,...

Jan 16, 2018 11:05

Sports

Air Pistol Shooting in Bhutan

“I saw the sport on television. I did not know that it would be an interesting experience. It helps us improve breathing and concentration....

Jan 14, 2018 10:44

Martial Arts Gaining Popularity with Bhutanese Youth

The President of BIMA, Damber Singh Rai, said that the programme is aimed at engaging students during the winter break. “It is an exercise...

Jan 06, 2018 08:58

Business

Fish Centre Needs More Trout Feed

Mr Singye Tshering said there is a high demand for fish in the country and it is important to promote the culture among people.

Jan 20, 2018 09:23

Farmers in Samtse Ready To Reap Quinoa

Farmers in Samtse are gearing up to harvest quinoa, a new crop which they started cultivating on a small scale as a pilot project last year.

Jan 18, 2018 07:18

Travel

Duenmang Tshachu – A Popular Hotspring Known for its Healing Properties

Gothpo, 76, who has visited the tshachu, said that the Kheng Duenmang tshachu is a renowned hot spring with 'great healing powers'.

Jan 19, 2018 11:17

Snow Leopards – Ghosts of the Mountains

Called “ghosts of the mountains” by the Himalayan people because of their ability to mysteriously appear and disappear with equal stealth,...

Jan 17, 2018 10:30

Lifestyle

Gyalsey, the Legacy of a Prince

In the 15 years of my life, the funniest yet saddest movie I have ever watched is Gyalsey, the legacy of a prince. Aired first in 2012, this...

Jan 09, 2018 07:10

Clove Bistro - Keeps You Coming Back!

The Clove has some amazing dishes, although the portions are not huge. This bistro makes a nice place to meet friends or to have a...

Dec 18, 2017 14:31

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!